Today, commentator Dr. Herb London discusses U.N. Week in New York City…
Diplomats gravitate from all over the globe to New York City for United Nations week. Traffic is snarled and barriers block midtown streets so the panjandrums of the globe can determine the fate of Syria, nuclear weapons in Iran and a Palestinian state. But this is only part of the reality.
These so-called diplomats representing every form of tyrannical regime are in New York to indulge themselves. Strip joints are filled to capacity. African “statesmen” in Brioni suits are preoccupied with jiggling strippers. And prostitutes are booked solid. New York is Gomorrah and the U.N. officials love it.
Moreover, so do their wives and significant others. Bergdorf Goodman has a queue in front of its Fifth Avenue store as women line up for baubles and beads, threads and make-up, aggregating to impressive five figure numbers. Even Arab women in black burkas buy Prada gear to keep under their make-shift effort at phony modesty.
The veneer of respectability is accepted by most New Yorkers because the cash registers are on over-time, but there is a perverse dimension to this decadence. Most of these national representatives wouldn’t be able to recognize a human rights issue if it bit them in the rear end.
When they do speak in the U.N. forum, they mouth the words that were assigned to them. In more instances than one might guess, the representatives are recovering from stupor induced revelry. There aren’t any issues in the U.N., only interests. Most of the states are dictatorships placed in the ironic position of deciding the political liberty of others. At the General Assembly every state has the same influence whether it be Micronesia or China. To call it a farce, does not do justice to farce or fairness or even common sense.
Yet this debating society for no ostensible principle continues. Who would give it up? The U.S. pays the bills approximately 25 percent, so most nations can beat up on America and not have to spend a dime for their frivolity. Diplomats look forward to their once a year bacchanalias. Significant others can shop till they drop in Fifth Avenue stores all at the expense of peasants who eke out a living wage in their homeland. And diplomats can get lap dance to feed their sexual fantasies instead of tap dances on the brain which may one day await them at home.
Of course, all of the debating during the day occurs with faux seriousness. National leaders understand that the Security Council is all that counts and even there, one veto can call into question any initiative. If truth be known, the General Assembly is comparable to a meeting of Mafia dons. Many are present, but only primus inter pares counts, i.e. the U.S., China and Russia.
This charade results in overtime payments for New York’s Finest, frustration for truckers and a city caught gridlock. Mayor Bloomberg says this is a great week for New York. It may be a great week for the mayor since his escort brushes traffic away like dandruff, but for the rest of us U.N. week is hell.
Three so called diplomats from Mogadishu bought an apartment on the upper eastside near Park Avenue. The price tag was equivalent to half the g.d.p. of Somalia, which is only a slight exaggeration. Not only is this a pad for fun and games, it is a probable exit habitat when the government changes hands. This kind of transaction takes place in plain sight with the cognoscenti aware that the money for this transaction comes off the backs of unwary Somalians. Yes, it’s good to be king or, at least, a diplomat at the U.N.
At long last, U.N. week is almost over. But already plans are being made for next year. Perhaps as a change of pace, U.N. Week in 2014 should be held in Mogadishu. There might even be a special session on piracy. Talk about rebellion; it will never happen. U.N. Week must be held in New York and I think you know why this is the case.
Doctor Herb London is President of the London Center for Policy Research and a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is also author of the book The Transformational Decade.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY WAMC’S COMMENTATORS ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF WAMC OR ITS MANAGEMENT.